Two months in Mexico travel blog

sign for site of chichen Itza

Chichen Itza sign

first side of temple of Kukulcan packed to the hilt. The only...

sign for patform of Eagles and Jaguars

rest of sign for temple of eagles and jaguars

I walked across the plaza to the small temple of the Eagles...

jaguar heads on top of stairs

each side of platform has steps, heads and carvings.

detail of carving. Jaguar eating heart.

better detail of jaguar lunch, and carvings around step face

stone inset on main face of plaza wall

detail of tail of serpent and feathers at end on the step...

another view of the first side. Wow!

another side of the temple shows part of orginial red color it...

jaguar faces close up

sign for skull ptatform

whole side of platform is covered with rows of skulls

skulls, manny, moe and jack, pete, george and not to forget sam.

see anyone you know?

and of course, new additions were added to the top of the...

shifting over to a different design on side of skull platform

extra head in corral so he doesn't get away

looks like he had a bad night.

kinda sneaking around the perimeter of the temple sides two and three.

platform of venus

Venus temple is larger and is located closer to the columns of...

close up of inset detail. Kinda worn

right side of steps on this same side of platform

detail of venus temple insert

more of side inset in on

lonely chac mool with no place to sit

temple of venus has same heads of jaguars

sign for temple of warriors

rest of sign

sneaking a peak at the temple of warriors and the chac mool...

continuing the shot to the right, columns go a long way into...

can't get too much closer as the view of the chac mool...

tried to get closer the serpent heads show but the chac mool...

side two and three again, closer and without too many people

more on warrior columns

sign and shows how the top of the temple would have looked...

rest of sign

temple of eagle tablets

close up of temple of eagle tablets. serpent head columns on top

sign for wall of jaguars

jaguars parading across wall, saw same thing in Tula

jaguars on wall

more pieces parts waiting for a place to go

slanted wall edge for another part of the column row

top of serpent column, laying on side, part pointing up needs to...

back to the temple of warriors. Stairs to top of platform where...

moving down the row of columns, they all have engraved sides. This...

looking around from the columns, another shot of the third side of...

walking inbetween the columns

looking beyond the square columns to the sections with the round ones...

looking back at the temple. It is richly carved all the way...

top of temple has stacked chaac faces

bottom of platform some round columns sit on. Richly carved all along...

more of same platform

walking toward the back of the temple, the columns make a right...

following the path of the columns. These are chinked to level them...

another right angle jag in the column path

part of building corner on this part of the temple section back...

sign for the temple facade

rest of sign for the chac face masks that were on top...

part of re assembled chac mask faces

re assembled chac face masks. Kinda nice to have a gound view...

helpful sign to get a grip on what the faces looked like

good re construction even if the noses are damaged. Note the round...

there always seems to be an access of parts left over

just down the path from the columns is the steam bath

left side of bath

right side of bath. small square hole is for the fire to...

sign for market

another shot of the left side, shows the waiting room area with...

rest of sign

and around the corner from the bath are the columns that held...

sign picture for what the market roof would have looked like

steps up to market columns

temple of pictures

columns in front of temple of pictues, this is between the market...

corner of temple with part of chac face remaining

sign for temple re building

what the temple would have looked like

more of sign

detail of temple wall under protective roof

carved stella

sign for thousand columns. This is where it connects with the temple...

rest of sign

stella from other side

bench in the columns section for viewing whats going on outside in...

end of columns has this step and building setup

this is side four of the kulkukan temple

behind the temple is this section. this is the temple of the...

close up of serpent heads on staircase

spare head in grass

sign for stack of chac heads

goes on top of building. Four chac heads, four seasons, directions, corners...

where chac heads would have stood on top of this platform

back steps to the temple

close up of serpent head

intertwinded snake design on banister of steps

house of grinding stones just to the side of the temple of...

grinding stone house

back view of red temple

edge of small building over this partly stacked wall

coming around the side of the red temple

the red house

rest of sign shows what temple would have looked like

the red house

missing a head. Has crossed arms over knees with feet showing

house of the deer

temple of the deer

The charol or observatory sign

sign of what the observatory would have looked like

the observatory

shifting the view to the right of the observatory building

close up of the tower, has a chac mask on all four...

another shot not as close

another shot of observatory showing staircase in back

around the right side, corners are rounded on base

this close up you can see two of the chac masks and...

walking toward the nunnery building, on the right side of the observatory

hole in wall exposing earlier building underneath on nunery

another shot of hole with building underneath

more of hole close up

building on top of the hole section with lattice work design

going around the back side of the building is a tower on...

glyphs on corner of wall on nunnery complex

continuing from around back next to the wall glyphs is the other...

next section is richly carved chac masks two high on bottom and...

top of nunnery side above the doors

view of plaza showing the shape of nunnery building with chac masks

finally the sign for the nunnery. This is a womans place

rest of sign

full view of chac face side. There are 15 for the number...

corner of chac face side of nunnery building

building next to the chac face one on the left is a...

front of chac temple

top of nunnery on the plaza side. The temple sits to the...

top of roof line on little temple

sign for the small temple in front of the nunnery

rest of sign

looking from the front left corner of temple. nunnery on right, columned...

steps to the colmned building behind the temple

This statue held a banner pole in the hole in his arms

another view of statue

arch doorway on the plaza of the nunnery probably leading to residences


temple for last sign

sign for building

building for previous sign is a royal residence with many rooms on...

one of the exposed room interiors, here as in the rest of...

back side of residence building

ball court sign

rest of sign for ball court

sign picture of ball court

ball court building with sun disks on top of roof line

ball court with sun disk top with room for king and court...

left side of ball court. note sides of wall are straight up...

on corner of court is the jaguar head

another view of jaguar head on ball court. note blocks in background...

close up of viewing ball court building with serpent columns

another shot of columns in kings viewing box on the ball court

looking from the left side of viewing building

glyphs on ball court wall along the base of the court

glyphs under protective roof on ball court wall.

glyphs on wall

ball court ring is carved and has smaller hole than other courts

ball court ring on right side of court wall

figure on wall of ball court

decapitated figure squirting blood in the form of snakes with beheader holding...

another shot of panel without shadow

more of same panel

serpent head. has different face than jaguar

jaguar inside the temple on the outside of the ball court

carved walls inside jaguar temple

carved column of figure in jaguar temple

jaguar temple

right outside edge of ball court has railing carved in undulating snake...

starting to get dark, close up of railing not too clear

cenote sign

my god, is this deep or what!! water is down below

right side of cenote with water at bottom

building on edge of cenote that was built to hold the dredge...

soltice sunset on kulkulkan temple

another shot of sunset

serpent head at the base of steps on front of temple

sunset on the temple of warriors

temple at the top of the kulkulkan pyramid, yes I climbed the...

view of temple of warriors from the top of kulkulkan platform

view the other way of the ball court and temple of jaguar

carved door jams in the temple at the top of kulkulkan

more of carvings, hard to see

made it down ok, me and ole' sepent baby guarding the temple

on steps I just climbed, next to the serpent head. Has fence...

Chichen Itza: Dec 21

I left Genesis Retreat early enough to drive the 50 K to Chichen Itza in order to spend the whole day. I wanted to see the light and sound show in the evening. Being I had to pay for it anyway. After I looked at the small display in the entrance museum I walked down the path to the site. Wow! What a place. I didn't know what to see first. Everything had been preserved and/or reconstructed so well, I felt like I was standing in the great plaza in ancient times looking at the Castillo and Temple of the Warriors. Uxmal, Edzna and Ek Balam had been great, but Chichen Itza was the best so far. What grandeur of form and elegance the temples displayed. I decided to start at the edge of the plaza at the stone platform of the skulls and work my way around, saving the Castillo for last. That way I could view all four sides before I climbed to the top. The pictures speak for themselves, so I will let them.

By the time I reached the path to enter Old Chichen area, it was time for lunch. I went back to the entrance building where they had a café. I had a nice lunch of chicken taquitos with guacamole. I found a vendor there that had pendants for sale that had the Mayan glyphs for the month you were born in. It was pure silver and etched very finely. I was very impressed with the workmanship and bought one. I returned to the site and proceeded into Old Chichen. The temple of the Count was first then, the red house, the deer house, the corn grinder building then on to the Observatory. It was roped off. Bummer. I did manage to get some zoom shots of the top, with the chac faces on the four sides. The nunnery was the next building in line. I sure wish the Spanish had a better way of labeling the buildings when they conquered the ancient cities, because this was not a nunnery. It may have been a woman's place but not for celibate women. On the contrary, if the goddess was honored here it was not done in that manner. The little building next to it, in my opinion was a temple marking the solstices, because it has the same little windows in the back of the building and the one doorway in the front, same as Tulum and Dzilbilchactun has. I didn't go down the road toward the hotels. The road looked way to long and I was parked at the main entrance. I believe I missed three or four of the most ancient temples including the Temple of the Phallus. I have looked at several different site maps and have never found them. However, I know they have to be there because I researched several Archaeological web pages set up by the archaeologists that worked on them. Gives me something else to see on my next trip. Same with Uxmal, I missed a bunch because it wasn't marked on the tour map. When the day was almost done it was time to climb the Castillo. It was grand, very steep and huge. The view from the top was magnificent. I huffed and puffed my way up, now I had to huff and puff my way down. Climbing and descending was like eating an elephant, one bite or step at a time. By taking so much time I missed the room under the Castillo with the red jaguar throne. Bummer. There will be a next time to see this. The grounds people ushered everyone out of the site grounds, which by the way I haven't mentioned, but were several thousand that day. They had to get ready for the light and sound show. I had two hours to wait. What better way than to visit the shops set up at the entrance? Oh, yummy, more shopping! Some of these vendors spoke some English. I found a T-shirt and several carved wooden plaques. The best was the carved wooded serpent in 3D. Great piece. I also bought the jaguar head from a man inside who had goods set up along the cenote trail. I think I bought it because he was persistent and came down on the price to 10.00 dollars. He also had a wife and cute child with him.

There were so many really wonderful crafted goods here, but limited my purchases as I still had a long way to go. I went back in for the light and sound show. I never gave it a thought it would be spoken in Spanish, so I couldn't understand a thing. I sat for a long while then started to think about the 50 K of dark road I had to drive back to Genesis Retreat, so I left the site and made my way to the toll road. I didn't have any problem finding my way and was back to my bed before 9 p.m. More later, Gay

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